Medicaid reform measure approved by state House panel

Tuesday, February 28th 2006, 5:44 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A legislative panel approves a measure that would revamp Oklahoma's $3.4-billion Medicaid system.

The House Health and Human Services Committee voted 19-to-3 Monday for the 43-page bill and sent it on to the full House for a vote.

Shawnee state Representative Kris Steele says he thinks the measure will provide better services and be more efficient with taxpayers' dollars.

The bill is based on the recommendations of a task force Steele headed up that suggested reforms and identified $111-million in savings, mostly in billing errors caused by fraud, abuse or mistakes.

But opponents said the bill will bloat the program's size and cost.

Oklahoma spends more money on Medicaid than any other function of state government except education -- more than $700-million last year.

More than 687,000 Oklahomans rely on the program.